September 11. It's probably safe to say that date evokes pretty similar feelings in the majority of the people on the planet. Feelings that are difficult to capture in words.
From 1970 – 1972, I lived in Brooklyn, New York while my dad was stationed at Ft. Hamilton's Army Chaplain School. (Long since relocated to Ft. Jackson, SC)
During that time, the World Trade Centers were under construction. Like most 10 year old boys, I was fascinated with all things construction, trucks and cranes. And you can't imagine all the activity that surrounded the building of the World Trade Centers. Every time we ventured into lower Manhattan I would check the progress of the tower's construction.
Unfortunately, I never got to see them fully completed.
Last year, I participated in something called "Project 2,996", a grassroots effort by bloggers to write individual tributes to all of the victims of the 9/11 attacks. I wrote A Tribute To Harry Ramos last year and encourage anyone interested to read it.
(Read all the tributes here. If nothing else, just scroll down the list and soak up the magnitude of what these bastards did.)
The organizer of Project 2,996 scaled back this year, but is already preparing to revitalize the effort for next and subsequent years. I had intended to write another essay for a different victim this year, but just didn't have the time to properly research a fitting tribute. These are not easy things to write. In fact, they are exceedingly painful. But it's a pain I will endure next year.
As sad as September 11 is for most, it is also a day of celebration in the Thompson household. My son James was born on September 11, 1991. James had his milestone 10th birthday that day, and I will never forget when he looked up at me and asked, "Daddy, why did this have to happen on my birthday?" How do you explain something as evil as this to a ten year old?
This year, James hits another milestone birthday — 16. He's developed into a fine young man. He's a well adjusted (as well as any 16 year old can be), funny, thoughtful and bright young man. I am very proud of him. Sometime tomorrow, he will get behind the wheel of an automobile, and drive away — by himself, with no one there to look out for him. I'm sure his mother and I will be complete wrecks.
In lieu of a written 9/11 tribute, I spent some time searching for video tributes. There are a bunch out there. Some are brilliant, some are conspiracy garbage. Below is one I thought was very well done — a tribute to the 343 members of the New York Fire Department that lost their lives that day, trying to save others. The second clip is the Star Spangled Banner, played by order of the Queen of England at the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace on September 13, 2001 (story). I remember watching this on TV that day and being both proud and bitterly angry at the same time.
Please, don't ever forget…
[tags]September 11, Harry Ramos, James Thompson Birthday[/tags]